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LI defense firm opens new Alabama facility

The Huntington assembly floor for Telephonics Corp., a

The Huntington assembly floor for Telephonics Corp., a major manufacturer of electronic components for both civilian and military aircraft, in Huntington. (Oct. 18, 2010) Credit: Kevin P. Coughlin, 2010

The electronics defense contractor Telephonics Corp., with headquarters in Farmingdale and three manufacturing plants in Huntington, has expanded in Alabama by leasing space for a new sales and engineering office near a major U.S. Army base, a company official said Thursday.

No Long Island jobs will be moved to the new Huntsville, Ala., office, Joseph Battaglia, the Telephonics chief executive, said.

“Nothing on Long Island will change,” Battaglia said, adding that he has considered whether to expand Telephonics’ buildings in Huntington by adding stories vertically.

Telephonics, a wholly owned subsidiary of Griffon Corp., specializes in airborne maritime surveillance radar and aircraft intercommunication management systems. Its three Huntington locations are on Park Avenue north of Pulaski Road, and the Farmingdale headquarters is near the runways at Republic Airport. It has $450 million in annual revenue and more than 1,350 employees in total, on Long Island and elsewhere.

The company’s Huntsville office is across the street from Redstone Arsenal, a component of the U.S. Army Materiel Command. “It’s gorgeous down there,” Battaglia said.

Workers are already hired and on the job in Alabama designing and selling to the Army, he said.

Telephonics said the new office “will house engineers from its radar systems and communication and electronic systems divisions as well as its subsidiary, Systems Engineering Group (SEG), Inc.”

The new Alabama location “will primarily provide air and missile defense threat systems analysis and engineering, high fidelity modeling and simulation, and missile, radar and combat systems engineering design and performance analysis,” Telephonics said.

Battaglia said Alabama officials gave incentives, including tax breaks, for Telephonics to expand there.

The Southeastern states are “going gangbusters,” providing incentives for companies to move there, he said. Still, Battaglia said he has no plans to move Long Island employees to Alabama. If sales efforts succeed at the new office it will expand through local hires in Alabama, he said.

Telephonics parent Griffon is a holding company with four wholly owned subsidiaries — Telephonics; Ames True Temper, a maker of hand tools for landscaping; Clopay Building Products, a garage door maker; and Clopay Plastic Products, a maker of films and laminates.

Griffon shares, traded on the New York Stock Exchange, were up 41 cents, to $8.98, in afternoon trading. Through Wednesday’s close, the shares were down 32.7 percent year to date.

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